Matics makes the advantage of sustainable manufacturing a reality on the factory floor.

Sustainable production is one of the most prominent areas of focus for the manufacturing industry today. More and more manufacturers are making commitments to sustainable manufacturing, and it isn’t hard to see why. Manufacturing sustainability provides numerous benefits, and the development of Industry 4.0 technologies has made it more accessible than ever before.

Matics is one company that’s leading the way in providing manufacturers with a practical Industry 4.0 solution to achieve sustainable manufacturing. The company’s Real-time Operational Intelligence (RtOI) platform makes it possible to leverage production data through aggregation, analysis, and work management tools. With improved visibility and control over their operations, manufacturers can achieve sustainable manufacturing practices on their shop floors.

Being able to effectively develop, implement, and improve sustainability policies lets green manufacturers take full advantage of these benefits.

Sustainable Manufacturing Companies Can Fulfill Their Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Many of the benefits of environmental manufacturing practices focus on a company’s operations and bottom line. However, there are reasons beyond that for implementing a sustainability policy. For many organizations, the commitment to sustainable manufacturing is a commitment to the social and environmental responsibilities shared by everyone.

The need for sustainable manufacturing processes and operations has become incredibly clear with the increasing public and regulatory focus on climate change and carbon emissions. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the industry is responsible for 24% of US greenhouse gas emissions. Manufacturers face a moral obligation to reduce emissions as the world works toward net-zero goals.

Specific sectors within manufacturing are facing their own unique responsibilities. Plastic waste has become a significant environmental concern. Manufacturers are moving toward the increased use of post-consumer recycled materials, the development of circular economies for plastic production, and additive manufacturing sustainability to reduce the impact of their industry.

While many of the decisions that these organizations are making provide other benefits as well, a great number of individuals within the industry are making a commitment to sustainable processing based on their own values of social and environmental responsibility.

Green Manufacturing Companies Can Reduce Waste to Save Money

Cost savings are a major motivator for manufacturers to transition toward a sustainable factory floor. Much of the focus on sustainable manufacturing lies in addressing both material and energy waste. For manufacturers, those wastes aren’t solely an environmental concern but also impact their bottom line.

Successfully developing and implementing a sustainability policy based on reducing waste can reduce associated costs for manufacturers. The impact of such a policy is evident in the case of material waste. When a certain weight of raw material is lost, the manufacturer will lose the purchase cost of the material without gaining any benefit. Depending on the specific process, additional disposal costs can even further increase the loss.

Even in processes that allow for rejected production to be reworked or recycled internally, there are still additional costs. This is one area where manufacturers can often overlook the impact of energy losses. Energy, in general, isn’t given the same level of attention as material waste, allowing numerous sources of loss to develop and accumulate.

Manufacturers can develop a sustainability policy to address these material and energy wastes. However, that’s only half of the story. Ensuring that such a policy is implemented and followed on the factory floor is just as essential.

Eco-Friendly Manufacturing Improves a Company’s Public Perception

Manufacturers rely on their public perception to drive sales of their products. Today, sustainability is one of the most significant factors that consumers take into account when choosing products. While quality, safety, and other criteria are still essential, manufacturers must now focus on sustainability as well.

Consumers will often choose sustainable products over other competing options. This provides an incentive for manufacturers to both implement sustainability policies and communicate the changes they’ve made to their customers. Regulations require sustainability reporting to be accurate and demonstrable, so manufacturers must be able to accurately track sustainability metrics such as post-consumer recycled content, energy use, and more.

Developing an improved public perception can be a great benefit to manufacturers, but avoiding a negative perception can be even more important. Consumers are quick to abandon companies that fail to meet sustainability standards.

Even manufacturers at points in the supply chain that don’t directly interact with consumers must take these points into account. Today, many companies are implementing policies where they’ll only work with partners and vendors who uphold the same sustainability policies that they do.

Production Sustainability Is Necessary to Meet New Regulations

The advantages of sustainable manufacturing are incentive enough for many manufacturers to make the commitment to sustainability. However, increasing regulations regarding emissions and waste make sustainability a necessity rather than an option in many industries.

Governments across the world have made commitments to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, with many incorporating intermediary targets for 2030. This, in turn, leads to stricter regulations on emissions for manufacturers. Similar efforts are underway regarding material waste in manufacturing, particularly plastics.

These regulations vary in the severity of their penalties, but most are structured in such a way that companies must either adapt or fail. Making the commitment to sustainability today is the only way that these manufacturers can survive in the future.

How Does Matics Help Make Sustainable Manufacturing a Reality?

Making the commitment to sustainable manufacturing is an important first step for manufacturers. However, they need a solution that lets them realize that commitment on the factory floor. That’s exactly what the RtOI platform from Matics makes possible.

The Matics RtOI platform aggregates and analyzes production data in real-time from all available sources on the factory floor and throughout the manufacturing operation. This plays a vital role in tracking and demonstrating sustainability metrics, but RtOI also provides the real-time capability to enforce sustainability policies.

The RtOI platform includes work management tools that let manufacturers take control of the factory floor. Real-time alerts can trigger automated workflows to immediately react to production events. That way, when material or energy waste starts to drift too high, the appropriate response is put into action immediately. Key stakeholders can also automate rules and work processes, optimizing results in real-time and ensuring future improvements, making it easier to uphold sustainability policies in the long-run. 

Matics RtOI is an Industry 4.0 solution that makes achieving sustainable manufacturing a reality for manufacturers looking to take advantage of all of its benefits.

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